Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I am Not Naturally a Great Parent

“Parenting is not just a matter of doing what comes naturally.”

– The 5 Love Languages of Children

I love this quote!  I’m not sure where people get the idea that I am a naturally patient person.  I hear many variations on this when someone learns I am the mother to 7 young children, when they discover we homeschool, they find out we’ve got 5 boys, or we’re blessed with a child with special needs.  After laughing hysterically I usually tell them I am not gifted with extra patience but that I am learning it one day at a time with God’s help.  Trust me, patience is a struggle for me. 

Right now God is taking me out of my comfort zone in many areas of parenting.  He’s tugging me away from the middle of a walkway and leading me right off the edge in faith, asking me to rely on Him.  I thought I would share just one facet of this as it pertains to Mason.

I am naturally an early riser, a morning person, one of those cheerful people who would rather get right to work early.  I am organized to a fault.  I like schedules, routines, and predictability.  I like to sleep shortly after my children head to bed – I am not a night owl. 

I have mentioned before that Mason is a pretty great sleeper compared to my other 6 children.  He will sleep for a 4-7 hour stretch at night.  Unfortunately Mason’s body clock has set itself to stay awake until about 12:30am before going down for bedtime.  I’ve parented enough newborns to know I can’t really help adjust that body clock just yet, he needs to be about 4 months old before I can really make much impact on his body clock. 

I’m tired.  I’m downright exhausted some days.  I have 6 other children who are waking in the morning - there is no sleeping in.  My husband has been working an odd schedule the last few weeks where he is in bed by 7:00pm and getting up for work not long after Mason and I finally get to bed.  Part of those late evening hours alone with Mason have me tending a grumpy little man.  He starts out cheerful enough but as the hours drag on he just wants held, walked, or changed. 

Where does God come in?  I firmly believe He’s using this opportunity to help me work on patience, yes, but there’s more.  He’s asking me to offer up my own needs for this child’s.  Selflessness does not come naturally to me.  Cheerfully following someone else’s schedule does not come naturally.  God is reminding me that I am weak but He is strong, and He is right there to help me through every challenge. 

What once seemed impossible to me in the parenting arena as a mother of 1 or 2 children is not difficult today.  God gave me small lessons along the way to teach me and strengthen my parenting muscles so they would be ready for the greater challenges of being a mother to 5, 6, and now 7 children.  I have so much more to learn, so many parenting muscles that still need strengthened.  That’s why God uses every opportunity to draw me to Him and help me grow.

“Parenting is not just a matter of doing what comes naturally.”


  1. This is a great post that really speaks to me. I don't think I'm naturally a great parent either. I work really hard and very consciously at caring for my children. When I take the time to really look, I can see that I am much better than I was a few years ago, and I sincerely hope to keep getting better as time passes.

    Keep up your good work!

  2. I concur! I am expecting our 6th son & homeschool, people think I was born patient. SO NOT TRUE! Ask my Mom or my siblings, heck, ask my husband & sons. I did not do this because I was soo patient, I do it because it is Heavenly Father's will & I am trying very hard to submit to HIS will (also not natural for me). Hang in there, missing sleep is a time I really struggle with my patience.

  3. I LOVE this post! I need to add this blog to my list so I can see when you post. Thanks for sharing. Very inspiring!


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